Consultation Document 1

1 September 2003 Initial Announcement

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As some of you may know, I have been trying for some time to lay the foundations for a learned society to look after archaeological prospection. After some legal background research and talking to other societies, especially the Aerial Archaeology Research Group (AARG), I have now come up with a draft constitution for the

International Society for Archaeological Prospection (ISAP)

The main aim should be to promote the subject and to act as a forum forthe exchange of ideas. It would also make it easier to negotiate with external bodies, for example the publishers of “Archaeological Prospection”, Wiley.

I have posted the draft constitution on a preliminary web site and I would like to invite your comments on it. Remember that this is a legal document thatshould only undergo minor amendments during the life of the society andhence some details (e.g. membership fees etc.) are dealt with externally. The text is rather legalistic as it is desirable (for tax purposes, if nothing else) to be recognised as having “charitable status” (Gemeinnuetzigkeit in German).

Let me draw your attention to some points:

  • The society will be an “educational charity”
  • There will be two types of members: individual and institutional. Themembership fees can be set separately (including student fees). Initially I envisage only a very small fee like 2 Pounds = 3 Euros = 3 Dollars for sending out mailings.
  • The business of the society will be overseen by a Management Committee, which consists of 5 officers which are written into the constitution and others that may be elected in addition (e.g. treasurer, web officer etc.). It is important to have a reasonably large number of such officers to represent the international community while making sure the required number of staff are present for meetingstwice a year.
  • Holding annual general meetings alongside the bi-annual conferences is no problem but one has to be creative for the interim years. This iswhy I have included provisions for proxy voting and a very small quorumof 10% of the membership. For those who are not familiar with proxy voting: one can nominate another member as a proxy to vote on one’s behalf at the meeting.
  • Similarly, the quorum for meetings of the Management Committee is reduced to only two officers, which is ridiculously low but may be necessary to allow functioning.

What next?

I suggest that we have an email discussion (please press “reply to all”) about this draft and I will then compile it into a revised version. This will be handed out to each delegate of the forthcoming conference at Cracow at registration. I will ask Tomasz Herbich to try and find a 1-hour slot during the conference, which allows for a brief discussion of the draft and the election of the 5 main officers. They will be charged with further development of the constitution. Subsequent to this “Constituting Session” membership forms will be handed out and fees will be collected to get it started.

I am very interested to hear your views and ideas and hope that we can set this up to a good start.

Best wishes